56:50.540N 05:07.336W

Madeleine and Martin
Sun 13 May 2012 18:50
Just in time, September entered the Caledonian Sea Lock at 08.35 this morning but much has happened since our last posting.
We left Lock Tarbert early on Wednesday 9th May and headed out through the rocks southwards to Islay. Down the Sound Of Islay between Islay and Jura we recorded an amazing 11.2 Knots of SOG ( speed over the ground) with a boat speed of 2.2 knots – some tidal rip. On our way out of the Sound we were assailed by the Clyde Coastguard; gale warning for the following day. Discretion won and the Distillery in Port Ellen was abandoned!. We turned tail and headed North to Loch Melfort for a quiet night. Lovely anchorage, walk and a welcome in the “Cosy Corner” – did not drink enough to pronounce this in the Gaelic. Very early start to catch slack water through the Cuan Sound and nearly achieved the right maths solution. All plain sail and a fast passage to Oban reefing as we went. Anchored in a gusty 7 before approaching the marina in the evening.  Water Taxi to Nikki’s selection of excellent fish restaurant. The crew abandoned ship early on Saturday morning and September set sail for Fort William. Magnificent sail up Loch Linnhe in the scenery, squalls and skerries. Snow covered Ben Nevis broods overall. Anchored over night. Toni the Lock keeper opened the sea lock early for us and we powered in under a rising gale. Not a moment too soon. By the time we had tied up in the inner basin the gale was in full swing with gusts over 40 knots, driving rain and cancelled ferries! Oh dear! What a sight for the junior crew as they stepped off the train; soaked to the skin before they had even stepped on board.